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Thread: Rant about hallmarks!

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurarius View Post
    What offence exactly though? That was more or less the whole point of my post. Telling a potential buyer a 925 stamp is a hallmark is not the same thing as selling an unhallmarked item that is over the weight limit or counterfeiting a hallmark and striking it yourself on an item.
    My comment was soley aimed at OP. It is an offence to claim a 925 stamp is a hallmark as it's misleading your customers and will fall under trading standards rules, likely under item not as described. You will also damage your own reputation as a crafter/seller. People don't buy from liers, never underestimate the power of word of mouth.
    Sian Williamson

  2. #12
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    p.s sorry if that came out a wee bit abrupt, it's not meant to. I don't get as much time as I'd like on here and my replies are normally very rushed. Please accept my apologies if it came out a bit nasty =) x
    Sian Williamson

  3. #13
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    It's no problem at all, Keia. Your answer was fine. People who abuse the hallmarking legislation are no friends of anyone - neither of the customers they sell to nor of the bona fide craftspeople who do things the right way and take pride in doing so.

  4. #14
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    There are two different issues here, one relating to the hallmarking act, and the other relating to "trade's descriptions" and reading these threads it would seem that everyone is right! Of course the number 925 means absolutely nothing on its own.....it's only an indication of the fineness of an item when it appears alongside the rest of the hallmark.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	5709 If it were any other way then I hope you'll like the picture of my "silver" train attached...it must be silver as it has "925" stamped on it!!!

    So obviously the number "925" is not a hallmark, nor can it be described as such on its own.

    If the "silver" item is under the 7.78g then it does not require hallmarking, and can be described as silver. However, if challenged, then it is the seller's responsibility to prove that the item is silver, and the "925" stamp on it again is insufficient on its own. Conversely, if it's over 7.78g then it will require hallmarking, and again the "925" stamp on its own is insufficient and does not constitute a hallmark.

    Remember though that the millesimal fineness symbol - the "925" - is really two symbols in one. It's a three digit number within a shield shape, and in the case of silver it's "925" within an oval shaped shield. As the "925" stamps you see on lightweight silver are never in an oval shield (if they were, then we may possibly talking about counterfeiting a hallmark under certain circumstances which does come under the hallmarking act), then anyone can stamp any three digit number on anything!

    What I'm trying to say in this long ramble, is that the "925" stamps you see on lightweight silver mean nothing really, (and cannot obviously be described as a hallmark) and the only stamps on precious metal that mean anything at all are the complete hallmark.
    Last edited by SteveLAO; 21-02-2014 at 08:24 AM.

  5. #15
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    Thanks for your answer, Steve. I suppose my remaining unanswered question is "Is merely describing a 925 mark as a hallmark an offence?" In other words, if a seller is selling an article below 7.78g of what he can verify is genuine sterling silver and this article bears only a 925 mark, would the seller be committing an offence merely by describing the 925 mark as a hallmark? A prospective buyer can easily verify by reference to the legislation that a self-stamped 925 mark is not a hallmark, so presumably the offence, if it is one, would be a relatively minor one under the Trade Descriptions Act.

  6. #16
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    Yeah it's probably not an offence under the hallmarking act, and, as you say, it's more likely to be a trade's description offence, which would need to be taken up by the Trading Standards people.

  7. #17
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    Actually, you don't have to go to far on ebay (co.uk) the find infringements. There are plenty of dealers in Thailand, Singapore, China, and the US that will sell "silver" rings, necklaces and all sorts in bulk for resale on ebay. If the item is over 7 grams very often, it must be hallmarked before sale. but people don't. the fine i believe is around 5000 per item ?

    I would love for the assay offices (police) to clean this up. After all it is hurting genuine sellers, and forcing prices down.

    J

  8. #18
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    It's the trading standards departments that enforce the law Julian. The assay offices provide the expertise and technical know-how for the trading standards people. I absolutely agree with your sentiment though! There is such a grey area over on line purchases though as I believe it does also depend on the country in which the transaction takes place. I understand, for example, if you buy something on line from Hong Kong and the transaction takes place over there electronically, then the sale comes under HK laws and not UK ones.....
    If it's in a shop in Britain its much easier to enforce and get convictions.
    On line is good....but also bad....

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLAO View Post
    It's the trading standards departments that enforce the law Julian.
    I stand corrected.

    The problem I see more often that not is UK sellers reselling bulk items imported from the far east. I guess the truth is they just don't know

    Julian

  10. #20
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    Some I'm sure don't know, although ignorance is no excuse in this case. Others don't care and think they can get away with it I'm afraid.
    We have had some very major successes along with trading standards, but you're right, there is still much work to be done in this area.

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